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Ridgecroft edges Wayne Country Day

AHOSKIE – There’s so much pomp and circumstance surrounding Homecoming, it’s sometimes easy to forget there’s a game too.

Friday afternoon Ridgecroft School enjoyed all the pageantry of Homecoming 2008 and, in the process, defeated Wayne Country Day School 1-0 in the afternoon’s soccer outing.

“Overall I was pleased with the results on Homecoming,” said third-year skipper Aron Martin. “I’m not pleased at all with the way we performed. We just came out flat.

“I can kinda see that after such a good performance against Greenfield Tuesday,” he added. “We had a lot of distractions with Homecoming, but I expected us to raise our level of play.”

The match started slowly with neither team able to make a real run at the goal until Ridgecroft’s Michael Byrum had two shots in three minutes. The first was a hard, low shot at the center of the goal, but was saved. Just moments later, Byrum had another shot, but missed over the top.

As if things didn’t start slowly enough for the Rams, with 21 minutes to play in the first half, leading scorer Hanes Joyner went down to a sprained ankle and was out for the remainder of the period.

Just moments later, Blake Sumner’s shot hit the side of the net, but it took only 50 seconds before the Rams were on the attack again and junior Miles Harrell scored from right in front of the net. That goal turned out to be the game-winner.

Later in the first half, sophomore Austin Britton missed to the left by inches. That was the last real threat of the first half.

With Joyner back in the game, Ridgecroft had several opportunities in the second half, but weren’t able to find the back of the net again.

The first good play of the second period by the Rams came from keeper Ethan Phelps who came out in front of the goal to snag the ball in the air with 36 minutes to play.

Harrell had another chance with just over 33 minutes to go, but again it was stopped. Just minutes later, Joyner hit the cross bar from 35 yards out, just missing another Ridgecroft goal.

Harrell had two other chances, but good plays by Wayne Country Day School kept the Rams’ offense at bay.

“Defensively, we played fairly sound,” Martin said. “While we weren’t sharp, we did get some good individual play.”

The coach for the Rams also credited WCDS and Coach Baron Heinemann with a solid performance.

“They wanted it more today,” Martin said. “I have to give Wayne Country Day credit. They are young and they came out and battled hard. They put forth the effort. I give credit to them and Coach Heinemann.”

Martin did say he still expects his team to be a player in the state title tournament which is coming later this month.

“I am only expecting positive things from this team in the future,” he said. “I think we’ll make a wave in the playoffs.”

The Rams will get the chance to begin stepping up today (Tuesday) when they host number three ranked Kerr-Vance Academy at home. First kick is set for 4:45 p.m.

In the junior varsity contest, Ridgecroft defeated Wayne Country Day School 5-0. The Rams received goals from Elijah Goldsby (two), Max Boone (two) and Landon Larabee (one).

Goldsby added two assists.